Climate Change – How do we play our part to help sustain the planet?

Last month we looked at the Climate Change Levy (CCL) and how this affects your business but what about climate change itself? How is global warming affecting the way people live and work?

Human led warming is now having serious implications for the planet’s climate stability

The global average temperature is about 15C (December 2018) well above the average for the 20th Century of 13.7C. So what’s causing this rise and how can we manage it? Temperatures fluctuate and geological evidence suggest that it’s been much higher and lower in the past, but scientists are concerned that natural fluctuations are being rapidly overtaken by human lead warming which is now having serious implications for the planet’s climate stability.

So what is the ‘greenhouse’ effect?

Like the glass of a greenhouse the Earth’s lower atmosphere traps some of the Sun’s energy, solar energy that should reflect out to space from the surface of the Earth is instead absorbed by atmospheric greenhouse gases. The energy which radiates back down to the planet heats both the lower atmosphere and the surface. If this didn’t happen, Earth would be a hostile planet to life with temperatures 30C colder. The balance of this essential process has changed, especially over the last century.

As the global population has increased so has the production of greenhouse gases. In particular the emissions from industry and agriculture. The greater amount of gases in the atmosphere means more heat is retained increasing the surface temperature. This is more commonly referred to as global warming or climate change.

Since the industrial revolution began in 1750, the levels of CO2 have risen by more than 30%

Most of our man-made emissions of CO2 are through the burning of fossil fuels and other greenhouse gases such as methane and nitrous oxide released through human activities. But since the industrial revolution began in 1750, the levels of CO2 have risen by more than 30%. The proof of the effect of these gases can me seen in the fact that 18 of the 19 hottest years on record have been since 2001.

What action can we take on Climate Change?

You may feel that you can do little to affect this global issue; however, making changes to our everyday use of energy is a good place to start. By limiting the use of fossil fuels such as natural gas, oil and carbon and replacing them with renewable and cleaner sources of energy we can increase energy efficiency and help the environment. Setting Targets and creating a “sustainability statement” also shows your commitment; publicly for CSR but this also helps internally for staff engagement and cost saving.

So how do I increase energy efficiency and save the environment whilst still running a profitable business?

Take advice from a professional who can help guide you through the complexities of energy efficiency

With another increase in the Climate Change Levy coming into force on 1st April, now is the time to look at alternative solutions such as renewable energy, making use of cleaner energy from natural sources such as wind and solar will have a positive effect on the climate. Assess your usage and start making changes to your current supply, simple steps like checking the efficiency of your equipment, lighting and heating for example is a good place to start and you’ll be surprised where savings can be made. Take advice from a professional who can help guide you through the complexities of energy efficiency by assessing your current situation and advising you on a solution that can benefit your business financially but also helps reduce the effect of climate change.

UKEM work with suppliers that provide cleaner sources of energy, speak to one of our professionals for impartial advice on how you can make the switch to greener energy, save money and help the planet for a better future.

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